Thursday, April 22, 2010


Two women live with two children (the relationships are never clear). One of the children, the title character, is faintly disturbed. A radio broadcasts updates to the chase of two young murderers across France by the authorities. The piano lessons continue.

If Rod Serling, upon seeing LAST YEAR AT MARIENBAD, brought Alain Resnais to the States to make a TWILIGHT ZONE episode, the result might have resembled NATHALIE GRANGER, a slow-burning non-drama from French New Wave mainstay Marguerite Duras. As in her finest work, the well-realized setting (here a suburban house) quickly turns into a place of dream and nightmare. The house seems positioned right on a borderline between straight society and a fog-shrouded neitherworld. The hallways and rooms inside the house seem to stretch on into eternity, and mirrors invariably lead to other places. When Gerard Depardieu's comically desperate washing machine salesman slips in, he transitions from odd man out to sole representative of sanity. His quiet confrontation with the true soul of the house at the film's quiet, otherworldly climax is one of Duras' finest set pieces (if she can be considered an author of set pieces).

Perhaps the mirrors in the film reflect outward - a review I read of the film on IMDB praises the film's bucolic beauty and tranquility. This reviewer seems to have missed the horror movie seen and reviewed here by your proprietor, but it's clearly the same film. I wonder what you would see in it. And what NATHALIE GRANGER would see in you.

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